The Redmond School Board decided Wednesday to put a $69.7 million bond on the November ballot. But there’s another recent tax decision in Redmond that deserves just as much attention: The Redmond City Council chose not to put a property tax increase on the November ballot to raise revenue for police and parks.
It’s never easy to balance a community’s wants and needs and revenue, but the Council’s decision not to raise taxes was undoubtedly the right one.
Councilors knew that any city tax increase on the ballot would compete for voter attention and support with the school bond. Two tax measures on the ballot could have made it less likely that either succeeded.
A poll commissioned by the city also showed support for the tax increase was far from a slam dunk. Support was running at about half for and half against, considering the margin of error. That was even after individuals polled were given additional information about how the money would be used. City staff said passing the tax for police and parks was basically a coin toss. The community clearly didn’t feel that the need for more spending on police and parks was a burning issue.
There is an argument to be made that Redmond should add more police and should invest more in its parks. City government will have to build more support for the idea. And what is encouraging is that the polling showed strong overall favorable impressions of both the police and city government. When the Council makes a careful decision as it did on this tax increase, perhaps that should not be a surprise.